LWx Custom Hats was born of a dream, on my 30th birthday. I had always been drawn to horse racing, riding, rodeo and western influenced fashion.
Do not misinterpret, I had a great childhood and my parents, god love them, gave everything they could manage to make my dreams come true. I watched my friends lease horses and move on to bigger and better barns, my family just wasn't set up to afford the lifestyle.
I just wanted to RIDE. I didn't care when, how, or what horse it was on. I just wanted to feel that connection to another being, and God.
When I made it to College at the University of Arkansas, I made it my business to become a part of the university's equine branch. I was so grateful to be placed into the course "Into to Equine Science" in my freshman spring semester. I have had many occasions where I have felt undeniably humbled. And learning I was placed in that course was one of those moments. I was on my way to my dream, a life with horses.
Whilst in my first two years of college (while perusing a degree in Kinesiology) I was selected to become a student in the horse training course. I could talk about the lessons that I learned that year without end.
Fancy, a paint mare. Lord that mare...she challenged me in with everything she had.
At the time I did not see what a trust I had built. I had to borrow full chaps from a nearby family in order to work with her. My legs were too light you see, and I was being ignored, the moment my leg made contact with her side with the weight of the leather slapping against my thigh, oh...we were rolling. Thus was born my appreciation for chaps.
I can never thank my professors Nancy and Kathy enough for the effort they put into me.
I had so much help, but that mare and I, after a semester and a half, had an understanding. Something I had been looking for all along.
Wouldn't you know it, the next year I was placed with as student, as a T.A. for the college with the task of mentoring her though her horse training course.
That next spring at the auction my student rode her horse, Petal. Petal was a lovely mare, and potential buyers wanted to see her "do more" in the show ring and auction pen. And there I was, being outfitted like a horsemanship ring sweetheart by a local family.
Rhinestones, purple chaps, and all, I rode out into that arena with the full appreciation of everything I had learned and the growth I had encountered over the last two years.
Participating in that program at The U of A gave me friends that I could have never dreamed of and all of the courage to keep my feet planted firmly in my dream to one day have horses of my own.
There is no greater family than the one you form when you're involved in what you truly love.
In my next years I was given a prestigious work-study spot on a Quarter horse breeding farm in NWA and witnessed multiple births of colts and filly's whose bloodlines I could only dream of owning.
I was offered the opportunity to intern under highly successful quarter horse trainers, I was asked to be a teacher in an off-site University-accredited work study at a local barn, and my love for horses and the wonderful people who loved them only grew.
After that I focused on the U of A barn as I was now a staff member, my hours with the track and field team, and my kinesiology degree. I worked on a ranch in the summers from sun up to sun down training new horses for the ranch's trail riding business in McKinney, TX. I graduated from The University of Arkansas in 2015 and went on to Texas A&M University for my master's of science in Athletic Training.
My first assignment as a grad student was to the Texas A&M Equestrian Team, I grew in my knowledge of the industry even more and hoped someday down the line I could work with riders as a professional.
In 2017 I got my first break into the world of rodeo, something I had only ever watched on TV and attended as a spectator. I was given the opportunity to work with the Justin Sports Medicine Team and have been with them ever since. I have worked the Texas rodeo circuit taking care of the competitors and performers at rodeos in Beaumont, Pasadena, Bay City, Houston, Austin, and beyond. It's a dream job while the season lasts.
I've had the career I needed in Sports Medicine, I've won a football state championship and I've climbed the ladder, and now, after 8 years, I have decided it is time to turn my dreams back to the world I love... Rodeo. Grit. Hard Work. Horses. Western Fashion. And, connecting with God.
Let's. Do. This.